At this point, no one wants to be reminded of the holidays, but we had to sneak this one in.
A sparkling tree. Plush Santa dolls. Matching red sweaters. Holiday scenes don’t get much more idyllic than a children’s choir performing “Silent Night” in the middle of a mall. Things could quickly take a turn for the naughty, however, if instead of shepherds and saviors, the little angels started singing about stealing beers and sniffing glue. That’s exactly what happens in a new ad that retrofits Christmas classics with a parental advisory sticker.
The ad in question is for Opvoedingslijn, a nonprofit Flemish hotline for parents with troubled kids. In the guerrilla-style clip, mall-goers gather to watch a standard-issue choir whose caroling goes blue when the kids start singing about unseemly topics with colorful language. Midway through, the tune switches from “Silent Night” to “Jingle Bells,” with lyrics converted into a taunt directed at redheaded children (“Gingerhead, gingerhead , you’re as ugly as can be.”) The crowd soon goes from confused chuckling to dispersing in disgust.
Belgium-based agency Duval Guillaume Modern created the ad to demonstrate that even on a holy night, misbehaving children can be a holy terror. This caroling short continues in the tradition of the agency’s ad for Opvoedingslijn from last winter, which used similar guerrilla tactics to make shoppers laugh uncomfortably inside of a mall setting. In that ad, a woman on the loudspeaker attempts to get the parents of a missing child to come collect him, only to have that child get the best of her.